Saturday, April 30, 2016

Happy and Taking it Easy

Some of you are wondering what has become of me.  The truth is, I am taking a self imposed break from the sewing machine.  However, I have done a bit of weaving. Like this bit.
That is just a small section of a piece that is roughly 17" wide by over four yards.  It is mostly cotton, but with some bamboo, tencel, rayon and linen thrown in at times.

I took the time to revamp and update my website at geneblack.com

I also saw this little harbinger of happiness on the power wire outside my front door.

 I love to see the bluebirds in the area.  I remember when they were almost extinct.  
I hope bluebirds of happiness are flying through your world and reminding you that we have so much to be thankful for.  
Several days a week I try to list some things to be thankful for - i.e. my gratitudes. 
Here are a few from the last week. 
Coffee. 
Little surprises. 
Spellcheck. 
Good neighbors. A sound sleep.  
People who appreciate what I have done and let me know it. 
Singing.
 Sunlight on the trees as it makes the leaves sparkle -and the light breeze makes the leaves dance.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Remembering the Past

Today is the five year anniversary of a major disaster in Alabama.  On April 27, 2011,  the state of Alabama was hit with more than sixty tornadoes.  At the time, I was working in Public Health Emergency Preparedness.   There were warnings that this could happen and people were warned to be prepared.
There were three EF-5 tornadoes in the mix. Those are storms with winds of over 200 miles an hour.

On that day I went to work as usual and sat at my desk.  We were told to keep an intense watch on what was happening in case we needed to evacuate or shelter. As the lower floor of one end of our building was set into the side of the hill, that was the safe spot.  So sheltering was a highly likely option. I ate lunch at my desk that day because personally, I could not make myself leave.

As we watched the weather on our computers - often with several sites open at once to get maximum coverage - we saw live coverage from un-manned weather cameras mounted across the state.  The most watched weatherman was streaming live and showing this footage.  Suddenly, he said "I believe that is the Tuscaloosa EMA" - my boss and I both said "Tommy is in there!" in horror. (Tommy did the same job as my boss, but in the Tuscaloosa area)   We watched the building disappear with our jaws dropped and our stomachs in our throats.   There was a path of destruction that  went across the entire state that day.  It was unbelievable.  On tornado did pass several miles to the north of us, but we never had to shelter that day.  We were spared that devastation.

The next day, we had a statewide staff meeting via phone conference.  As everyone was checking in, we heard Tommy say, "I am here." Lots of voices talked at once.  The outcome was that the folks at the EMA had sheltered in the basement and were safe, but had to dig their way out.
Then during "report," Tommy said,  "Hey,  I won't be able to do the generator checks this month. We can't find them. "  Everyone laughed.

So, may I remind you all,  please be safe. Please have your own emergency plan in place.  Have medicines, important documents (or copies on a flash drive,)  and other items ready in case you have to evacuate or shelter.
I was going to post some photos of the disaster - but my photos from that time are archived. But yuo can search it on Google or click this link to see them.

Since I dislike posts without some type of photo here are a couple from my website


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

First Roses and an Alert

The roses have started to bloom and they are so lovely.   I decided that I had to share them with you.
There are dozens of buds and all of these blooms were just buds yesterday.






And now the Alert.  
Craftsy is having a sale on "select" classes.   There are actually 785 classes on sale for half price. I even saw a class on growing roses!  There is so much that you can learn. And science has proven that constantly learning keeps your brain working at its optimal level.  (and we all want that, don't we?)

The three free motion quilting classes by Christina Cameli are each marked down to $19.99.  I have taken two of these classes and I highly recommend them.
I did these pieces in Essentials of Free Motion Quilting.



I have not yet taken "The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting" - but it is on my list to buy.  Right now just might be a good time for me to enroll. (okay, I couldn't resist - I am now enrolled in this class!)

And in Wild Quilting,  I did these pieces.



You can learn to quilt like this.  Christina is firm in saying that you should not mention your mistakes.  But, even the best quilters have some little oopsies.  You may find some in mine if you look diligently...but don't do that....and remember it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. 
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Living and Weaving

It seems that I have been missing a bit lately.  I have been working on several things.  A fellow blogger and my favorite fabric dyer, Vicki Welsh,  has done a complete reworking of her blog, website and store.   That inspired me to take a look at my website and see what I could do to revamp. At this point, I am not ready to change my blog. But I do have a website at www.geneblack.com  - that is the one I am going to revamp.

(warning- geeky talk - you can skip the next paragraph if it will cause you to glaze over)  
Since my web hosting is paid for almost 3 more years, it isn't financially smart to move the website.  I looked at some sites that let you build on their platform and even started a site here.  However, it is not a complete site at all.  Since I can't export the coding and use it on my hosting site, I am searching for a good standalone web design software that isn't too expensive.

Now....the less geeky stuff:

A couple of weeks ago, I wound a lovely red warp for my loom
There are some purple and yellow threads as well as  a couple of brown and green threads in it.  I have been weaving on this eight meter warp (8.75 yards) slowly since then.   Here are some photos of the fabric with one "close-up" of  a graphic element that I wove into the cloth.


At this point, there is less than a yard of warp that is unwoven.  I really hate to see the end of it as it has been such a joy to weave.  But I have a purple warp ready to go on next.
As for this piece, I can hardly wait to see what it becomes.  My hope is that it will make a great piece to put in a gallery show I have coming up in July.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring "Cleaning"

I have been doing some spring cleaning - but really it is more spring organization. I had some things stored a bit haphazardly in the room where most of my fabric is stored.   As happens with most of us, one day it became too much and I decided to start sorting it a bit. That has an inherent danger when you are a maker of any kind.  I found some older projects that got put aside  - so I put them in a separate place to consider them when I finished sorting that particular section.
Here are two of the three that I found.

Both of these are from 2011- yikes. 
I am thinking that each of the above pieces could become the center of a medallion quilt.

The third one is a baby quilt top.  I don't know why I didn't finish it at the time. But now, there are two pieces - one on either end- that I just don't like.  The fabric does nothing to enhance the quilt.  There are also some embroidered parts on two other sections that I am not very happy with either.  So, I plan to rip out some pieces and change it - and hopefully make it better. At this point, it wasn't nice enough to photograph!.

I hope you are having a great week.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in posts may be affiliate links for which I am compensated if you click through and purchase.